What happens when you've developed a product and you're eager to sell it, but another business claims they got there first and own the legal rights? In this situation, you're likely headed for a messy legal dispute. On both sides of the argument, you've got people who are highly motivated to win because their livelihood may depend on it.
If an IP dispute goes to court, someone may find themselves losing a judgement for a significant amount of money.
Ultimately, if such a case goes to court, someone may find themselves losing a judgement for a significant amount of money. It's usually best to confront these disputes before they spin out of control, which should help both sides from wasting a lot of time and risking a hefty pile of cash.
A costly patent dispute at Apple
A common problem under patent law in Australia is that if disputes are left unresolved for a long time, they can lead to massive damages financially. For example, according to CNET, Apple was recently ordered to pay $502 million in damages for infringing on a patent owned by a group of university researchers.
The patent in question was for a relatively small product – a "predictor circuit" that was designed to speed up processing by anticipating user instructions. The patent dated all the way back to 1998, meaning Apple had been using the product without permission for almost two decades. The invention may have been minor, but because the issue went unaddressed for so long, the damages ended up being massive.
How can you nip conflict in the bud?
If you sense that you might have a problem with another business (or sole proprietor) under intellectual property law in Australia, it's usually best to get to the bottom of the problem right away and keep the conflict from getting out of control. IP Australia notes that often, the best way to do this is by bringing in a third party to mediate and figure out which side is in the right.
If you've got an intellectual property issue that's particularly contentious, you might not be able to resolve it without bringing in lawyers who specialise in IP. Fortunately, we've got you covered there.
Get a lawyer who can advise you
When you're running a business that depends on its intellectual property to bring in revenue every day, you can never be too careful about protecting what's yours. That's why, at Alder IP, our team of patent lawyers in Sydney offer you the full range of IP management services including patents, trade marks, design protection and more.
Work with us, and we'll help you evaluate your entire IP portfolio and figure out where you stand. If you have any issues at all, we'll be happy to map out strategies that will help you combat them.